Resolutions of the General Syrian Congress
Syria, July 2, 1919
We, the undersigned, members of the General Syrian Congress assembled in Damascus on the 2nd of July, 1919, and composed of delegations from the three zones, namely the southern, eastern, and western, and furnished with credentials duly authorizing us to represent the Moslem, Christian and Jewish inhabitants of our respective districts, have resolved to submit the following as defining the aspirations of the people who have chosen us to place them before the American section of the Inter-Allied Commission. With the exception of the fifth clause, which was passed by a large majority, the Resolutions which follow were all adopted unanimously:---
1. We desire full and absolute political independence for Syria. . .
2. We desire the Government of Syria to be a constitutional monarchy based on principles of democratic and broadly decentralized rule which shall safeguard the rights of minorities, and we wish that Amir Faisal who has striven so nobly for our liberation and enjoyed our full confidence and trust be our King.
3. In view of the fact that the Arab inhabitants of Syria are not less fitted or gifted than were certain other nations (such as the Bulgarians, Serbs, Greeks and Rumanians) when granted independence, we protest against Article XXII of the Covenant of the League of Nations which relegates us to the standing of insufficiently developed races requiring the the tutelage of a mandatory power.
4. If, for whatever reason that might remain undisclosed to us, the Peace Conference were to ignore this legitimate protest, we shall regard the mandate mentioned in the Covenant of the League of Nations as implying no more that the rendering of assistance in the technical and economic fields without impairment of our absolute independence. We rely on President Wilson’s declaration that this object in entering the War was to put an end to acquisitive designs for imperialistic purposes. In our desire that our country should not be made a field for colonization, and in the belief that the American nation is devoid of colonial ambitions and has no political designs on our country, we resolve to seek assistance in the technical and economic fields from the United States of America on the understanding that the duration of such assistance shall not exceed twenty years.
5. In the event of the United States finding herself unable to accede to our request . . . we would seek [assistance] from Great Britain, provided always that it will not be allowed to impair the unity and absolute independence of our country and that is duration should not exceed the period mentioned in the preceding clause.
6. We do not recognize to the French Government any right to any part of Syria, and we reject all proposals that France should give us any assistance. . .
7. We reject the claims of Zionists for the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth in that part of southern Syria which is known as Palestine and we are opposed to Jewish immigration into any part of the country. We do not acknowledge that they have a title, and we regard their claims as a grave menace to our national, political, and economic life. Our Jewish fellow-citizens shall continue to enjoy the rights and to bear the responsibilities which are ours in common.
8. We desire that there should be no dismemberment of Syria and no separation of Palestine or the coastal region in the west or the Lebanon from the mother country. . .
10. The basic principles proclaimed by President Wilson in condemnation of secret treaties cause us to enter an emphatic protest against any agreement to provide for the dismemberment of Syria. . .
The lofty principles proclaimed by President Wilson encourage us to believe that the determining consideration in the settlement of our own future will be the real desires of our people; and that we may look to President Wilson and the liberal American nation, who are known for their sincere and generous sympathy with the aspirations of weak nations, for help in the fulfilment our hopes. . .
Print version: syriancongressed.docx
Webpage address: Google books
Original source: J. C. Hurewitz, Middle East and North Africa in World Politics A Documentary Record (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979), 180-182.
This version edited by Mara Lazda